introduced. A state association has been formed, and the work of education and encouragement has been placed in charge of a specialist in beekeeping.
Total area, 30,989 square miles. The state consists of two main divisions: The Coastal Plain and the Piedmont Plateau, the “fall line” running from Cheraw, in the northeast comer, through Camden and Columbia to Augusta on the Savannah River. Along the coast there is a broad border of salt marsh, beyond which there are 10,000,000 acres of level country with a sandy soil partly covered with pine trees, known as the “flatwoods,” or pine barrens. Gum trees and bay trees are common in the river swamps, while near the coast the palmetto occurs, and South Carolina is often called the “Palmetto State.” Figs and pomegranates flourish, and oranges can be grown in the subtropical climate of the southeastern portion.
In the state as a whole beekeeping is not well developed; there are many small, poorly managed apiaries with the bees mostly in box hives. Here and there are small but well managed modern apiaries, which yield good returns. During the last three or four years there has been a rapidly increasing interest in beekeeping throughout the state. In many counties, bees are being transferred to modern hives, and there is a strong movement toward better methods and the organization of the beekeepers. There are active beekeepers’ organizations in five counties with a total membership of about 175. Anderson County, with a membership of about 50, publishes a four-page monthly bulletin. Other counties will probably organize at an early date.
Bee diseases are reported to be absent, and certainly are not prevalent in the state.
The Piedmont Plateau is a rolling or rugged country, becoming mountainous in the northwest, where an elevation of 2000 feet is attained. The surface soil ranges from a gray sandy loam to a clay loam, a stiff red clay subsoil predominating. In the numerous valleys along the streams there is a great variety of hardwood trees. Apples, peaches, and pears are abundant and cotton is cultivated over the entire section. Blackberry, boneset, horehound, goldenrod, and asters are common herbs and considerable clover and hairy vetch are grown. The winters are mild and comparatively short. The bees are seldom confined to their hives long at a time, and brood-rearing begins early in the spring. The main honey plants are tulip tree, persimmon, sourwood, holly, black willow, sumac, clover, white tupelo, goldenrod, aster, and cotton. Beekeeping has been more highly developed in the Piedmont section than on the Coastal Plain, and for this reason much more honey is produced here than in the latter section.
Beekeeping in the Coastal Plain is at present in a very undeveloped condition; but it is the opinion of E. S. Prevost that this section offers the best opportunities in the state for commercial beekeeping. The chief sources of surplus honey are gallberry, tupelo, holly, rattan, and titi. In the Coastal Plain the apiaries are for the most part small, and the problem of successful management is in a transitional state. The best locations are on the margins of the river swamps, as along the Pedee, Black, Cooper, Edisto, Cambahee, and Savannah River swamps.
No accurate figures as to the surplus obtained in the state are available, but yields of 75 to 100 pounds per colony are not unusual. This could be greatly increased by better methods of beekeeping, for fully 80 per cent, of the nectar of this region is lost through want of strong colonies to gather it.